Rights of Texans are Threatened with Recent Pandemic

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Gun stores considered non-essential businesses by Texas legislators. READ MORE

tsra

Mike Cox
Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) Legislative Director

Dear TSRA Member:

Earlier this week, pro-Second Amendment State Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) requested an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton on whether city and county officials can prohibit the sale of firearms through an emergency order or declaration by excluding firearm manufacturers and retailers as “essential businesses.” Over the course of this week, local officials across the state from the cities of Austin, Lubbock and Waco, as well as Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Travis counties adopted (and in some cases modified) such orders. Forcing some gun stores to close and denying law-abiding Texans the right to purchase for protection during these uncertain times.

On March 31, General Paxton issued Opinion No. KP-0296 stating that Section 229.001(a) and 236.002(a) of the Texas Local Government Code prohibit municipalities and counties from adopting regulations related to the transfer of and commerce in firearms, and that these emergency stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders may not regulate or restrict the sale of firearms.

Thanks go out to Representative Burrows for his timely request and to General Paxton for issuing this critical opinion affirming that the state firearms preemption statute overrides these local orders and protecting the exercise of your Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star State.

Also, thanks go out to State Representative Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) and State Senator Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) for sponsoring and passing House Bill 3231 during the 2019 legislative session, legislation which strengthened and made important clarifications to Texas’ state firearms preemption statute, and to Governor Greg Abbott for signing the measure into law.

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